Nexans has developed its new HYPRON® range to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to lead-sheathed cables for onshore power, control and instrumentation applications in the oil and gas industry. The HYPRON® design offers exactly the same protection against aggressive petrochemicals as traditional lead-sheathed cables, with the added advantage of improved ease of handling and installation thanks to its lower weight and smaller cross-section.
All types of cables used in the onshore oil and gas industry require protection against chemicals – acids, bases, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons – that can penetrate towards the conductors. Traditionally, a lead sheath has provided this protection. However, in response to the growing market demand for more environmentally friendly cables, Nexans undertook a five-year programme to develop a new lead-free chemical barrier in the form of HYPRON®.
HYPRON® Co-extruded construction elements
In general, HYPRON® complies with IEC 60228 and also meets other international standards such as IEC 60502-1 for Low Voltage and BS EN 50288-7 for instrumentation cables.
HYPRON® comprises three co-extruded construction elements: AluPE, an HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) sheath and a PA (Polyamide) sheath. The AluPE layer is an alumininium coated tape, applied longitudinally, that provides a watertight seal. The HDPE sheath provides the resistance to inorganic chemical such as chlorine, and the PA sheath provides resistance to organic materials such as benzene.
HYPRON® has been fully tested to prove its suitability for a wide variety of applications - including MV (medium voltage) and LV (low voltage) power as well as control and instrumentation – when exposed to aggressive chemicals as well as temperatures ranging from -20°C to +60°C.
Where a higher level of fire resistance is required, an improved HYPRON® version is available, based on HFFR polyamide. It complies with IEC 60332-1 on flame propagation, IEC 60332-3 for fire propagation as well as IEC 60331 and BS 6387 for fire resistance applications.
Elimination of lead results in a smaller overall cable cross-section. This in turn makes the cables easier to manipulate during installation thanks to a reduced bending radius (typically 10 percent smaller than lead-sheathed cables). Furthermore, a longer length of cable can be spooled onto a drum, so fewer cable joints are required for long installation lengths.
Because HYPRON® cable is significantly lighter than lead-sheathed cables – over 40 percent lighter in the case of an LV cable with 12 copper cores – it is easier to transport, handle and pull into cable ducts.
A further advantage of HYPRON® cables are that they are very cost-effective, offering total cost savings of some 10 to 25 percent due to the continually rising costs of lead.
HYPRON® cables are already being installed in a number of onshore installations, especially in regions such as the Middle-East where there is a growing emphasis on environmentally-friendly products.